Whitewater High School boys swim team members Wentao Guo, Jason Shelbourn, Jon Zimdars and Benny Liang stand atop the podium after winning the Division 2 championship in the 200 Medley Relay event at the WIAA State Swimming Meet last Friday. (Bob Mischka photo)

Whitewater High School boys swim team members Wentao Guo, Jason Shelbourn, Jon Zimdars and Benny Liang stand atop the podium after winning the Division 2 championship in the 200 Medley Relay event at the WIAA State Swimming Meet last Friday. (Bob Mischka photo)

By Adam Knoll

Sports correspondent

After the Whitewater High School boys swim team won two events at the WIAA State Swim Meet last Friday, the first victories at the state level for WHS, and medaled in four out of the other five events they competed in, coach Joan Domitrz summed it up by exclaiming, “What a night!”

Four swimmers represented Whitewater at the state meet – Wentao Guo, Benny Liang, Jason Shelbourn and Jon Zimdars – in five individual races and two relays. In all but one of the seven total events the Whippets competed in, they earned medals including two championships.

The 200-meter relay team of Guo, Liang, Shelbourn and Zimdars not only won the event but also notched the fifth fastest time in the state’s Division 2 history in the process. The finish came down to the length of a fingertip, with anchor Shelbourn proving he had a bigger wingspan than his opponents.

“Our cheering section in the stands went crazy,” after the 200-meter win, Domitrz said. “This event set the whole tone for the rest of the meet.”

But Whitewater wasn’t done winning yet.

Liang, who took the top spot in the 100 individual breaststroke event, also secured his place as Whitewater High School’s all-time leader with two gold medals at the state level of competition. He won the event from the first heat, a challenge according to the coach due to splashback from the wall.

In the other events swam at state, the Whippets made strong showings. Those results were as follows: Jon Zidmars finished third in the 200 individual medley and 100 fly events; Liang placed fifth in the 100 freestyle; Shelbourn finished 10th overall in the 100 backstroke; and the 400 freestyle relay team earned a fourth place finish.

As a team Whitewater ended the competition tied for sixth place with Grafton, the highest team finish in Whippet history.

Domitrz said those who made the trip to the state meet to cheer on the Whippets – and witnessed history being made – deserved recognition.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came to the meet to cheer us on,” she said. “You were all awesome!”

 

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